Run With the Kenyans

In the last several days, the news has been filled with the Kenyan mall hostage-taking and the targeting of non-Muslims, particularly westerners. There has even been some talk about involvement of some Americans in the attack on the mall. Stories like this paint a negative picture of American relationships with African nations. But they ignore the many ways Americans collaborate with African nations, Kenya in particular, for positive efforts. One such effort came to my attention this morning and I wanted to share it. Those of you who live in the Capital Region of NYS, and especially fans of running may want to join the Kenyans in this special run, raising awareness for childhood cancer and having what could be a high point experience in your running career. Even if you don’t run, it will be an event worth turning out for and supporting!

Read on to learn about why the Kenyans are here and what it could mean for you and your family.

WHAT:   Kenyans return to Schenectady and will participate in Nick’s Run to be Healed 5K to support the community and   raise awareness for childhood cancer.

WHEN:  Sunday, September 29 (10:30am registration; 1:00pm 5K)

WHERE:  Clifton Commons, Vischer Ferry, Clifton Park, NY

As part of an Olympic Training Program that began in Nairobi, Kenya in July, 2012, a team of Kenyan runners will be calling Schenectady home for the next 4-5 months under the guidance of sports chiropractor Dr. Tim Maggs and former Kenyan world class runner, Coach Paul Mbugua. The group will be based in Schenectady and will compete in major races nationally. The team is made up of 3 women and 3 men.  In order to get them more involved in the community and provide an opportunity for them to run, they will participate in Nick’s Run to be Healed 5K, which is a fundraiser for Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation.  This 501 (c) (3) non-profit emotionally and financially supports local children battling cancer.  When Janine Cammarata, President of Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation, was approached by Dr. Maggs about their participation, she felt it would be a great way to welcome them to the community while spreading the word about childhood cancer.

The Kenyans originally came to Schenectady in 1993 with Dr. Maggs. The relationship he has forged with Athletics Kenya (the Kenyan athletic governing body) has now led to the beginning of this new program. In early 2012, Maggs and Mbugua formed a partnership with Coach John Mwithiga, one of Kenya’s top coaches. Coach Mwithiga has coached the Kenyan National Cross Country Team for the past 8 years, and not by coincidence, Kenya has won the World Cross Country Championships in each of those years. Once Coach Mwithiga was on board, Maggs and Mbugua opened an Olympic Training Center near Nairobi. These runners were hand selected by Coach Mwithiga to begin preparing for the 2016 Olympic Kenyan Trials. Their intense training now brings them to the U.S. for international racing, only to return to Kenya to continue their training.

The team runs under the team name CPOYA.com. This website (Concerned Parents of Young Athletes) was designed by Dr. Maggs to raise the awareness of sports biomechanics in the middle and high school age group. According to Dr. Maggs, sports medicine for this age group is inadequate, reactive in nature, and governed by a broken health insurance industry. He claims with the growth of sports in this country and the declining care provided to this age group, the next generation will be unable to afford healthcare, and premature structural degeneration will be epidemic.

This team of world class Kenyan runners, together with Dr. Maggs, will work to make positive changes in the care of young athletes, the ways young athletes learn to take care of their bodies and the prevention of unnecessary injuries.

For further information: Contact Trudy@cpoya.com/518.694.1558 or Janine Cammarata 518-466-5558

About Dawn Lajeunesse

I, like so many others, am a novelist struggling for recognition. In Her Mother's Shoes was published in June 2013 - available through Amazon, B&N and iPad, e-book (only $2.99!) as well as paperback. Autumn Colors was my first. My third novel, Star Catching, was released in November, 2016 and has been very well-received! My writings are mostly women's fiction, most also suitable for YA. My website is www.dawnlajeunesse.com. Come visit me there!
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